The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team suffered a tough loss to the Mid-American Conference West Division-leading Western Michigan Broncos Wednesday 63-59 in Kalamazoo.
The Eagles (9-10, 2-3 MAC) featured three scorers in double digits: Daylen Harrison scored 15 points along with six rebounds and two blocked shots; Glenn Bryant also had six boards to accompany his 12 points; and Jamell Harris scored 10 on 5-of-7 shooting and chipped in six rebounds.
Jalen Ross added nine points, Derek Thompson scored eight on 3-of-13 shooting and Da’Shonte Riley added six rebounds of his own. Despite a rough shooting night, going only 1-of-8 for two points, J.R. Sims had three steals.
The Broncos (11-7, 3-2 MAC) featured a balanced offensive attack, which included four players scoring at least 10 points, led by Shayne Whittington with 14. Darius Paul came up just short of a double-double, scoring 11 and grabbing nine rebounds.
After a very tight opening to the game that saw neither team take a lead of more than three points, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to take a 21-11 lead with 7:09 until the break. The run was fueled by a three-pointer from Thompson and four-point play by Ross.
The game settled into a back-and-forth rhythm yet again, until the Broncos went on a 9-0 run while down 24-15 to tie the game going into the half, 24-24.
To start the second half, the Broncos continued their run by putting up seven straight before the Eagles scored to take a 31-24 lead, making their combined run 16-0.
The Eagles fought back, though, and pulled within three points, after back-to-back three-pointers by Harrison and Thompson.
The Broncos came right back and scored two quick baskets to bring their lead back up to seven.
The Eagles eventually tied the score 45-45 on a layup by Harris with 7:49 left in the game and then took a 47-46 lead, but it was the last lead of the game for the Eagles as the Broncos quickly answered with a 5-0 and 6-0 run sandwiched around a Riley jumper to take a commanding 57-49 lead with just under four minutes left in the game.
The Eagles couldn’t bring it to a one-possession game, coming only as close as 59-55 with just over a minute remaining.
The Eagles continued their inconsistent shooting, hitting 23-of-58 shots (39.7 percent).
The team did manage to out-rebound the Broncos by a 29-26 margin, including 14-12 on the offensive glass and lead in steals, 10-7. The Broncos, though, out-assisted the Eagles 13-7.
The Eagles also racked up the fouls with 18 compared to just 12 for the Broncos.
The Broncos also managed a more efficient night from the floor, shooting 21-of-45 (46.7 percent). WMU also had a decisive advantage in the number of attempted free throws, going 16-of-21 compared to the Eagles 7-of-9.